I Chose Joy and It Really Is Well
Hey girl, hey!!
I know, I know... It's been a while since I've written on this blog. In all honesty, ya girl just needed a break. Life got way too real and I needed to take some time out to breathe, process and receive from our Heavenly Father... And I did. This time of being processed has been emotional, enlightening and thought-provoking all at the same time. LOL. But enough about that... Let me tell you all about my experience attending an Infertility conference for the first time ever.
2 weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a conference called Choose Joy. And it was amazing. The Choose Joy Event is a 2 day conference for women and couples dealing with infertility, adoption and foster care. I had some family come in town so I didn't attend on that Friday. But I was there all day Saturday and friends, let me tell you, it was EVERYTHING I needed and so much more.
Saturday morning started off with worship to set the tone for the day. And although this style of worship wasn't necessarily what I was used to it was real, it was lovely, it was unfiltered; and I absolutely loved it! After worship came time for the first breakout session of the day. I liked the fact that there were multiple sessions to choose from but after looking at the program 4 different times I still couldn't choose which session to go to first... There were simply too many options LOL...
And if you know me then you know that when I'm faced with too many options I usually just randomly pick something... Which is exactly what I did... LOL..
I wish I could tell you that I chose my first session because it was an issue I was dealing with or because God told me to go to that particular one... but I can't. In all honesty I chose it because of it's title... The Vagina-less Monologues. With a title like that, who wouldn't want to see what it is about??. This session was led by a young lady named Ashley and her story is mind boggling to say the least.
I was amazed at how she had this crazy, unbelievable and seemingly hopeless diagnosis but in the end God worked everything out so that she got what she so desperately longed for... Just in a way that was beautifully unexpected. After hearing her story I seriously began to put some things concerning my own journey in perspective and I realized that God really is in the details.
The 2nd session I attended was titled The Stupid Things People Say And Why They Should Be Quiet. This session was led by Infertility Blogger, Elisha Kearns (if you've never read her blog, Waiting For Baby Bird you should definitely go check it out) and it was very eye opening.
In this session Elisha talked about how other people aren't the only ones that say stupid things to us. Sometimes we get so caught up in the emotions of infertility that we say stupid things to OURSELVES! We start getting in our feelings and begin to say things that are contrary to what God has told us. Crazy, right!? Elisha reminded me that we have to combat the negative thoughts with God's Word and positive affirmations. It's one thing for other people to say stupid things to us but to do that to ourselves is just insanity.
The other 2 sessions I attended were called Life After Infertility and Waiting On The Lord. These sessions were a stark reminder that God really is in control and that it's imperative to really LIVE during the waiting season instead of just existing. I can honestly say that during these last few months I've kind of just been existing through this whole process. But after these sessions, some much needed healing took place and I made the decision to actually start living through it.
Although all the break out sessions were amazing they weren't my favorite parts of the conference. Here are the 3 things I loved the most:
1. Watching a few different people win scholarships/grants to expand their families. It was so amazing to see these individuals' faces as they realized they were receiving money to help make their dream become reality. One young lady even won more than $6,000 I think!!! That was such an amazing experience!
2. During closing Worship while we were singing "It Is Well" I had a moment where I felt all of God's love, joy, peace and forgiveness at the same exact time. It was in this beautifully overwhelming moment that I realized that YES, IT REALLY IS WELL! I was reminded that through the diagnosis, uncertainty, tears, depression, and emptiness of the past few months God never left me and all is truly well.
3. Meeting some of my social media friends in person and making new ones. In addition to meeting Elisha Kearns in person, I had the pleasure of meeting Beth Barker Forbus (Founder of Sarah's Laughter). Also, during the 2 hour lunch break I had the chance to get to know some of the coolest, funniest, down to earth women I've ever encountered. We talked, shared stories and laughed nonstop. I learned about the effects of Lime Disease, what it's like to live in Las Vegas, and how being an adoptive mom and foster mom of the same child forged a lifelong friendship. Those ladies made what I thought was going to be an unbearably long and boring break into a fun and informative one.
At Chose Joy 2018 lives were changed, friendships were made and God was glorified.
Always remember: God is in the details, your words really do matter, and it's ok to NOT be ok and need a little help sometimes. If you find yourself in a dark place and really struggling, don't be afraid or ashamed to reach out to someone. Consider getting an accountability partner that will pray for you and keep you accountable while on this journey. Join an infertility support group so you can be around like minded women who get the struggle. Find a therapist that you can talk through your issues with. Whatever you do, never forget that God loves you and is working your situation out.
Love You Lots,
Geri Alicea xoxo